The Immortal Who Loved Me(Argeneau, book 21)(73) by Lynsay Sands
Sherry hesitated, but then pointed out gently, “Being immortal doesn’t really protect against that, Basil. Leo was immortal and he’s dead now.”
When Basil stared at her blankly, she sighed and admitted, “I was actually asking what I should do about not knowing my father’s last name.”
“Oh.” He frowned, and then glanced toward the door as it opened and Victor ushered Elvi inside.
“Are you okay?” Elvi asked anxiously, rushing around the desk toward them.
“Yes. I’m fine, really.” Sherry started to sit up, but Basil held her in place. She glanced toward him with surprise, and then turned back when Elvi began to speak again.
“It scared the crap out of me when I came back in and realized you were gone, and then I saw that the back door was cracked open, and I just knew Leo must have got in,” Elvi babbled. Squeezing her hands, she added, “Thank God you’re all right.”
“Yes, but more importantly, Stephanie is safe now,” Sherry pointed out with a smile, and Basil could have crushed the woman’s bloody neck. Who cared if Stephanie was safe? Stephanie had been safe in Port Henry. She was the one who had nearly died, dammit!
“Oh, my,” Elvi breathed, her eyes widening. Apparently, that hadn’t yet occurred to her. Now that it had, Basil couldn’t tell if she was going to burst into tears or shout with glee. The tears won out, and Elvi turned to Victor and buried her face in his chest, her shoulders shaking.
Much to Basil’s amusement, Victor peered down at his woman as if she’d lost her mind.
“Honey, this is a good thing,” he pointed out, his arms automatically going around her.
Elvi lifted her head to sob, “I knowwww,” and then buried her face in his chest once more.
“She’s just happy and relieved,” Sherry said, rubbing the other woman’s back sympathetically. “She must have been terribly scared for Stephanie. It must have killed her to let her out of her sight to come to Toronto.”
“It diddddd,” Elvi cried, burrowing deeper into Victor’s chest.
Victor peered helplessly from his woman to his brother. “I . . . er . . . I think I should . . . er . . .” Giving it up, he scooped Elvi into his arms and turned toward the stairs, only to pause to allow Lucian and Bricker to pass him and come into the room. The moment the way was clear, though, he headed down the stairs that led into the store.
“What the hell is going on?” Bricker asked with amazement as they watched Victor carry Elvi out. “First Basil’s carrying Sherry away, and then Marcus is carting a blubbering Basha off, and now Elvi’s sobbing to beat the band and Victor is playing he-man too. Have the women gone crazy or is this an immortal caveman convention?”
Lucian reached out and biffed the younger man in the back of the head.
“Ow,” Bricker complained, rubbing the spot. “What?”
“Show some respect,” Lucian snapped. “Basha just killed the man she’s thought of as her son for two millennia. There was no shame in her weeping over that.”
“Yeah, okay,” Bricker agreed. “I get that.”
Lucian grunted and turned back to peer at Basil, only to scowl when the young hunter said, “But what about Elvi and Sherry?”
“I wanted to get Sherry away from the scene as quickly as possible. She is not crying,” Basil pointed out. “But she is mortal. Watching a man beheaded and dealing with the aftermath is not a common occurrence for her.”
“Okay, I can see that too,” Bricker allowed, and then glanced from Basil to Lucian and asked, “But what was Elvi’s deal?”
Lucian scowled when the young man settled his gaze on him. It seemed obvious to Basil that his brother had no idea why Elvi was crying, but rather than say so, he simply said, “She is a woman. They don’t need a reason to cry. They just do.”
Sherry released what sounded suspiciously like a snort, her body jerking against his, and then she explained to Bricker, “Elvi is just relieved that Stephanie’s life is no longer in danger. It has been a great strain on her to worry about the girl for so long.”
“Ah,” Bricker said with understanding. But now Lucian was scowling even harder.
“She should be happy now then. Stephanie is safe,” Lucian pointed out.
“She is happy,” Sherry assured him patiently. “That’s why she was crying.”
If anything, that seemed to confuse Lucian more. Shaking his head, he turned to Bricker and said, “You see? It’s as I said, women don’t need a reason to cry. They just do.”
“Yeah, right. You’d best not be suggesting Leigh is the crybaby type,” Bricker said with amusement. “She’s the strongest woman I know. She has to be to put up with you.”
Lucian glowered at the man. “She cried when she was pregnant. A lot. Hormonal, Marguerite called it,” he added morosely, and then shuddered and confessed, “It made me glad we can only have children every hundred years.”
Basil smiled widely. He knew Lucian adored his wife as much as he himself adored Sherry, and it was so damned fine to see him acting like a human again. His smile faded as he tuned into his own thoughts. He adored Sherry?
Yes, Basil acknowledged. He did. At the start, he had simply noted that he couldn’t read or control her, and accepted that she was his life mate. It had been that simple, like A + B = C, his inability to read plus the inability to control, equaled life mate in his mind. End of story. But that was then. Now he’d gotten to know her.
Basil knew Sherry’s ambitions, her determination, even how she’d briefly lost her way. He enjoyed her sense of humor, her intelligence, and her kindness. She had a decency that made the world a better place and a passion equal to his own. She also had courage. In the penultimate moment, when Leo had held her life in his hands, no one could have saved her from him without a high risk of getting her killed instead. Whether she had known that or not, she had not stood as a victim to the man, helpless to his whims and waiting to be saved, but stabbed him in the balls and got the hell away from him. Sherry had saved herself in the end.
Even if no one else had been there, and if Basha had not stepped up to lop off his head the moment Sherry was out of the way, Basil was quite sure Leo would not have got up quickly from the wound Sherry had given him. The man had been about to collapse on the ground screaming in agony when Basha forever silenced him with her sword. Had Sherry been there alone, he was quite sure that she would have had a good deal of time to escape before Leo healed enough to follow. And Basil was damned proud of her. But more than that, he loved her for it. And now he wanted more than for her to accept the turn and agree to be his life mate. He wanted her to love him back. Needed it, even.
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